Hi friends! My name is Jenna Woodcox of @A_Cute_Design and Anothercutedesign.com, a crochet wear and maker supply business that is forever evolving. I wanted to write something for you makers out there. I wanted you to know how fantastic and individualistic you are, and there is no better place to share that than The Hook Nook Life! My wish is you can relate to some of my stories and reasoning's and all in all know how amazing you and your creativity truly are. I hope this piece is encouraging whether you are just starting out or need some positive inspiration during your maker journey. Hope you enjoy.
Having a creative business is a tricky bugger, but boy oh boy can it be rewarding. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be successful from the get-go (myself included), when really it’s living inside us all along. From my perspective it’s all about finding value in your voice, your work and ultimately yourself. Believing you can accomplish those goals you have been dreaming of is half the battle. It’s so important to remember everyone has their own journey, and if you stay true to yourself you will succeed.
As someone that’s had a trialing past, I’m finally at an age where I can start appreciating where my experiences have taken me. I can see them reflected in my work and seeing that payoff is so amazing. I truly believe we are all creative in one way or another, it just looks different for each of us. Whether it’s organization, communication, digital work, or hand craft, either way the big thing to remember here is we are all different and have amazing things to share with the world. We all contribute and benefit from one another’s gifts, yours included.
When I started my business in November of 2015 my focus was neutral colored crochet, with odds and ends in my offerings like small woodworking projects and jewelry. Once I focused for a few years on crochet and my vision, my work started to really feel like it was coming to life. Looking back on those first experiments reminds me of the things I’m doing now with maker items like wooden tags, stitch markers, pattern writing and so much more. If I didn't focus on crochet for a while, I wouldn’t have the foundation and focus, so I know these experiences where well worth it. We all get inspired by different things at different times and finding what resonates with your soul (whether it leads to something fruitful or not), to help you express yourself is key!
I've also learned my creativity loves to be expressed through photography. Once I met my good friend Corrine Turner (who you can thank for these beautiful photos) on Instagram and we started taking photos together, I was changed. Someone who’s work I admired was on the same wavelength as me and encouraged me and it shifted something in me, like I now had permission to explore that outlet! So yes, I crochet but I also purchased a DSLR camera and exploring with that includes my crochet work but let’s me be creative with other subjects as well. All in all, who knows where things can go when you are exploring all angles of your creativity and what would be possible if we all let our imaginations run a little wild.
Another thing that truly inspires me and could lend you support is our fiber community. Sometimes I am guilty of the comparison game, or try to make everything everyone else is making, but then I step back and just dream a little. Yes, I am in the process of writing up my first pattern (thanks to all of your support) but also what else do I want to do?! I Have several new things in the works, I’m so apprehensive about pulling the trigger, then I can have one interaction with a creative friend and my fire is re-awakened! And it took me years to connect to others online, but again once I started being true to my passions and being me, things just started to click with my fellow makers both online and in person.
I think your creativity is you: it makes up the core of your spirit- it brings the vitality to your life. What colors you choose, what medium you enjoy- you wouldn’t do it unless you loved it. Caring for both is essential. For me, personally I get sucked into my work and it’s hard to care about much else. But I’ve been looking at it from the perspective as caring for my life in the same way I care for my business and I’ve evolved a ton since doing so. Do that yoga if it helps clear your mind or have a nice night out (or in) with friends if it lightens your spirit and remind yourself there is more in your life than your work, then when you return you are refreshed and refocused. In addition, knowing your limits and that you deserve respect, love and to be surrounded by those who inspire you is honestly priceless for your creativity.
Finding your voice also requires conquering a lot of fears and constantly going outside of your comfort zone. This initial fear can be debilitating and any successful person has countless stories of failure, but it’s pushing back that that gets you places. I’ve had failed show applications, booth setups, and even had to walk away from a platform I believed in and to be honest they affect me A LOT. Take it from me, worst case is whatever you’re afraid of trying doesn’t work out, but you can never know how far you could have gone if you don’t try!
If you are overwhelmed by resources or don’t know where to start, (which is perfectly normal), do your research and keep in mind those who inspire you. What do you like about their feed, work, message etc. How can you, in your own way incorporate aspects into your work? A big turning point for me was avidly using color. Once I started incorporating my unique color combinations in my work, I feel like me and my business just came to life. I continue to be inspired by vintage fabrics, and really anything that tells me a color story. I then capture the mood or experience they convey and express it in my work. Maybe your inspiration comes from travel, texture, architecture, human experience. There is so much in the world for you to explore to cultivate your creativity.
I refer to creativity much like life, the more you nurture it, the more whole it becomes. The same with life, there are challenges you will face. Remember your perseverance and reflection make all the difference. If you don’t stick to it, how will you know the outcome? On the opposite side of the coin, it’s completely fine to change directions! Take those breaks when you need them, for however long they may be so you can be the best version of yourself to make your dreams come to life. Pursue it with passion and love and you will get there.
Please, just do you, friend. Be all you want to be and know that even if you are struggling to find your voice now, if you stay true to yourself you will find it. Settle in, grab that warm beverage and get to work being the amazing you that you are meant to be!
I’m ready to make the remainder of 2019 count, are you?!
What does your story look like? I’d love to know in the comments below!